Defending Champion Mavericks Try To Avoid Getting Swept By Thunder

2012 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Quarterfinals Game #4
#2 Oklahoma City Thunder at #7 Dallas MavericksĀ 

Best of Seven Series, Format 2-2-1-1-1
OKC leads series 3-0
American Airlines Center – Dallas, Texas
Saturday, May 5, 2012, 7:35 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Opening Line: Dallas -1
Current Line: OKC -2
Opening Total: 192 1/2
Current Total: 193
Opening Money Line: Mavericks -115 / Thunder -105
Current Money Line: Thunder -135 / Mavericks +115

The Mavericks will try to avoid an embarrassing sweep at the hands of the Thunder in the Western Conference Quarterfiinals. The Mavericks won the NBA title last year.

After two close wins at home, Oklahoma City went to Dallas and routed the Mavericks 95-79 Thursday night to put the defending champions on the brink of elimination. The Mavericks will try to avoid the sweep Saturday night in Dallas. Oklahoma City, coached by Scott Brooks, won Game #1 99-98 and Game #2 102-99 both in Oklahoma City. Many thought Dallas, coached by Rick Carlisle, would win at home since they did so well on the road. However, Oklahoma City never trailed in the rout.

In the first two games of the series Kevin Durant scored a lot of points but didn’t really shoot that well. He did most of his damage from the free throw line in those two games at home. However, in Game 3 he scored 31 points on 11/15 field goals, and 5/7 on free throws. Durant made 4 of his 6 three pointers, and also added 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, and a block. Russell Westbrook scored 20 points along with 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Serge Ibaka, Derek Fisher, and James Harden each scored 10 points. Ibaka also added 11 rebounds and 4 blocks. As a team the Thunder shot 42.4% from the field, including 12/28 from 3 point range. OKC made 11 of 17 free throws. The Thunder had 18 assists and 8 turnovers. Oklahoma City had 10 fast break points, and 26 points in the paint.

Dallas had a miserable shooting night going 34.2% from the field and 7/22 from 3 point range. The Mavericks made 20 of 26 free throws. They outrebounded Oklahoma City 46-45. The Mavericks had 15 assists, 15 turnovers, 10 fast breakĀ  and 28 points in the paint. Dirk Nowitzki scored 17 points, and added 9 rebounds. He struggled shooting going 6/15 from the field. Jason Kidd had 12 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Jason Terry scored 11 points and added 6 assists and 3 rebounds.

Both teams are relatively healthy but OKC back-up point guard Eric Maynor is out for the season with a knee injury. The Thunder acquired Derek Fisher off waivers to replace him after the Lakers traded him to Houston.

The Thunder are 36-33 ATS and the total is 33-36 this season. The Mavericks are 34-35 ATS and the total is 35-34 this season. OKC is 10-2-1 ATS recently in Dallas. The road team is 35-15-2 in this series recently, and the underdog is 20-6-1 as well. The last 4 games played in Dallas in this series have gone under the total.

The Thunder are 14-6 ATS as a favorite of 4.5 points or less, 34-16-1 as a road favorite of 4.5 points or less, 4-9 after a straight up win of 10 points or more, 2-6 after a straight up win, 1-3-1 in conference quarterfinal games, 1-4 in Saturday games, 2-9 against teams with winning records, 1-5 overall, and against Western Conference teams, 1-10 against Southwest Division teams, 0-4 as a favorite, and as a playoff favorite.

The Mavericks are 4-0 ATS after a straight up loss of 10 points or more, 7-1-1 in conference quarterfinal games, 5-1 as a playoff underdog of 4.5 points or less, 8-3 after a straight up loss, 23-9-2 as an underdog, 3-7 in Saturday games, 2-6 as a home underdog, including 2-5 at home, and 3-9 after a double digit home loss.

Last season, Dallas took a 3-0 lead against the Lakers in the Western Conference Semifinals. The Lakers quit in game 4 and were blown out of the building by around 30 points. Will Dallas do the same thing now that they are on the verge of being swept? It could happen but you will be able to tell very quickly once the game starts if they are just going through the motions like dead men walking. Last season, Oklahoma City took a 3-0 lead against Denver and lost game 4 on the road. Though very talented, this Thunder team is still very young. Winning this game to sweep the defending champions, who by the way knocked the Thunder out of the playoffs last year in the Western Conference Finals would be a huge step in the maturation of this team. The Thunder win, but Dallas doesn’t quit and keeps it close.

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